Euripides (480 BC – 406 BC) was the youngest of the three great Athenian tragedians whose work survives. From the voluminous number of tragedies these three playwrights produced, we have seven apiece by Aeschylus and Sophocles, and eighteen or nineteen by Euripides, who was called in antiquity the most tragic of the tragic poets, and of whom it was also said that he showed people not as they ought to be but as they are. Some of the ancient references to Euripides, while they can’t be substantiated, give a vivid sense of the nature and popularity of his art. For example, Plutarch tells us that the dire failure of the Sicilian Expedition late in the Peloponnesian War led Athenians who had been enslaved in Syracuse to trade renditions of passages they recalled from Euripidean tragedies with their Sicilian captors in exchange for food and drink. Euripides also makes several appearances in the comedies of Aristophanes, most memorably in The Frogs, where he loses the dead tragic poets’ contest to Aeschylus but emerges as the more humane, realistic, and finally sympathetic personality and artist.